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Credit Card Fraud: Prevent Your Card From Unauthorised Use

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January 7, 2023


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Here’s a fun fact - as of FY21, around 62 million credit cards were in use in India. If you own one or more of these cards, there are two things you should know the answer to -  what is credit card fraud? And how can you avoid falling prey to it?

Knowing the different types of credit card fraud can help you protect your finances and ensure you don’t accidentally get charged for purchases you didn’t make. So, here’s a closer look at everything you need to know about protecting your credit cards from fraudsters and cybercriminals. 

What is Credit Card Fraud?

Credit card fraud is a type of cybercrime or financial crime where a fraudster gains access to sensitive information regarding your credit card. Such sensitive information includes your credit card number, PIN, CVV, and other similar details needed to use the card to make a purchase. 

Since the purchases made or the fund transfers initiated are illegal, they all constitute credit card fraud. Credit card fraud detection systems can help identify fraudulent transactions to a certain extent. But in most cases, fraudsters may have caused significant financial harm to the victim before they are caught. So, it is always a good idea to be aware of the different types of credit card fraud and what you can do to avoid falling prey to them. 

Types of Credit Card Fraud 

Credit card fraud may include different kinds of scams and cyber crimes like phishing, pagejacking, application fraud, and more. Let’s take a closer look at some common types of credit card fraud and discuss what you can do to stay safe from such crimes. 

1. Phishing

Phishing involves sending fake emails that look authentic. These emails prompt you to share sensitive information or click a link to make a seemingly urgent payment. For example, you may receive an email asking you to click a link to make your pending credit card bill immediately to avoid a huge penalty. The link, of course, will be fraudulent.

How to avoid falling victim to phishing?

This type of credit card fraud can be avoided by following the simple practice of not clicking links or sharing financial information over your email. You can also install a trusted antivirus or security software on your computer for added protection. 

2. PoS Fraud

PoS fraud occurs when you use a credit card to pay for a purchase at a PoS terminal. Here, scamsters use a skimming device attached to the PoS machine and hack your credit card information when you’re making a transaction. These details can then be used to initiate unauthorised transactions using your credit card. 

How to avoid falling victim to PoS frauds?

To avoid falling prey to skimming attacks at PoS terminals, ensure that the device is not connected to any other suspicious machines. Also, use NFC payment options whenever possible, so you can just tap and pay.

3. Pagejacking

Pagejacking is a kind of credit card fraud where scammers create web pages and websites that look authentic. You may be tricked into making a purchase or executing a financial transaction on such fraudulent pages, all the while giving the scammers free access to sensitive information about your credit card. 

How to avoid falling victim to pagejacking?

Ensure that you only purchase from legitimate websites to avoid becoming a victim of credit card fraud due to pagejacking. You can also check the page's security and use search engines to look for cloned copies of the page online. 

4. Keystroke Logging

Keystroke logging is a kind of cyber fraud where the fraudster uses keylogging software to record the keystrokes made on your computer. The software is typically downloaded on your computer when you click a suspicious link. This, in turn, helps them identify the PIN, passwords, credit card numbers, and other such crucial details. 

How to avoid falling victim to keystroke logging frauds?

To avoid falling prey to this kind of credit card fraud, ensure you do not click any unknown links on your computer. Check the list of downloaded software from time to time and uninstall any suspicious apps. Above all, use a reliable antivirus computer security software on your PC. 

5. Application Fraud

In application fraud, scamsters impersonate genuine individuals to get you to use credit cards and use the fraudulently obtained cards to make purchases. Sometimes, scamsters may gain access to a valid credit card by impersonating a customer and using fake documents. This kind of fraud can typically be detected if the issuing entity does a thorough background check.

How to avoid credit card fraud?

To ensure that fraudsters do not use your identity to apply for a credit card in your name, keep the following in mind:

1. Keep physical copies of your KYC documents safe. And do not allow access to anyone for the soft copies.

2. Review SMS permissions of all the apps on your phone (if you're using Android), and make sure that only the strictly necessary apps have permission to read your SMS

3. Do not give your OTP to anyone on call, regardless of who they claim to be

Another great way to protect yourself from potential fraudulent activities is to understand your credit card better. Watch this short video to learn more about your credit card: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/W1pvtB1hbBw


These are the most common kinds of credit card fraud you should be aware of. By taking some necessary measures and being aware of the information you pass on to third parties, you can steer clear of most of these scams.

All said and done, it is always a good idea to keep yourself updated about the latest frauds and new scams in the credit card market, so you can take the steps necessary to keep your finances safe. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is credit card fraud done?

Credit card fraud is done in many ways. The most common types of credit card fraud may include phishing, keystroke logging, and fraud at PoS terminals. There are also application-based fraud and thefts of credit cards.

2. Can credit card fraud be traced?

Yes, most credit card transactions are traceable. So, if you are the victim of credit card fraud and the criminal uses your card for a purchase or a bank transfer, it is typically possible to trace the card. 

3. What is credit card fraud in cybercrime?

Credit card fraud is a kind of cybercrime wherein a scamster or a criminal gains unauthorised access to your credit card details, such as your card number and PIN. This way, the scamster can use your card for their financial transactions. 

4. How do I report credit card fraud?

If you suspect you have been a credit card fraud victim, notify your bank immediately. You can even give a missed call on 14440 to register a complaint with the Reserve Bank of India.

Your immediate priority should be to block your credit card in case it is lost or stolen or if you are receiving notifications of unauthorised transactions. This will ensure that the scamster cannot continue using your card.

5. How do I find out who used my card?

It is not always possible to determine who used your credit card fraudulently. In case you suspect that your credit card is being used unauthorized, you can register a complaint. The police department will then investigate the case and try to trace the scamster based on the transactions or withdrawals made.


Fi Money is not a bank; it offers banking services through licensed partners and investment services through epiFi Wealth Pvt. Ltd. and its partners. This post is for information only and is not professional financial advice.
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